Saturday, June 28, 2008

At First Glance, a Cool Marketing Campaign

A recent post on the At First Glance blog by Glance Networks CEO Rich Baker got me thinking.

In a savvy marketing move, Glance is offering bloggers a free year-long subscription (a $499 value) to their web conferencing services. Glance is positioning this as “a way to say thanks” to the many bloggers who have helped spread the word about the value of web conferencing.

With the growing number of bloggers and the ease at which just about anyone can create a blog, the audience for this offer is staggering. As of this post, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs.

I would imagine that many bloggers would be drawn to the simplicity of Glance’s web conferencing solution. It is marketed as “a simple one-button screen sharing tool that lets people instantly show their live PC or Mac™ screens to anyone online”. And, given the pricing table published on their website, I would assume Glance is a lower cost offering for the individual user or SMB customer than competing solutions from Cisco/WebEx, GoToMeeting and others.

I’m not up to speed on the web conferencing market growth projections and I don’t know how Glance is segmenting and reaching out to this pool of potential customers, but even if you started by assuming a quarter of the blogging population could be web conferencing users, the audience for this offer would be 28 million. Assume, one in 10 of those may have a need for a web conferencing solution after a first year of free service and you’re at 2.8 million potential customers – still a nice big number.

With the right viral marketing campaign across the blogsphere, word could spread fast. And, the call to action seems to follow Glance’s belief in simplicity: contact Rich with your blog’s URL.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Social Media Shift

We are experiencing a profound shift in business technology and are in the midst of explosive growth in the business/social media infrastructure and applications markets. Over the past few years it has become evident that these technologies and their early adopters are driving significant change in many critical business processes.

Advances in technology continue to impact nearly every aspect of our lives. The internet has changed the world. And with the internet, our social and business interactions are becoming more complex, yet simplified at the same time. New web 2.0 collaboration tools offer us more choices for managing our businesses – potentially introducing more complexity into operational activities and decision making process. Yet these same tools are making it easier for users of all abilities to create, access, edit, download and otherwise manage a massive amount of content – from documents and spreadsheets, to video, blogs and wikis.

Looking at the headlines of just a few of the business publications that have crossed my desk in the last couple of months, it is evident that these technologies and applications are taking hold across a number of markets. A sampling includes: It’s a web 2.0 world - are you ready for it?; Web 2.0 Rodeo; The Power of Parenting 2.0; Social Networking 2.0 – Are you linked in or left out?

I’m intrigued by the studies of
Professor Michael Wesch an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University and his views on the technology-driven changes we’re experiencing. The impact is far reaching. From the script of a video he produced titled The Machine is Us/ing Us, “We’ll need to rethink a few things…”

We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.